The Duncan Banner
In a game that for all playoff purposes didn’t matter, Marlow proved a lot.
Kingfisher senior Landon Nault was his usual self, rushing for 284 yards and three touchdowns, leading his team to a 34-7 win, but it wasn’t easy. Marlow (6-4, 3-3) scrapped to keep Nault under control. Though he got his yards, Kingfisher (10-0, 6-0) would only muster seven points on offense at the end of the first half.
“I’m so proud of our defense,” coach Rob Renshaw said after the game. “We gave up a couple of big plays, but they played their guts out.”
It took only two plays for the road team to get one of those big plays. Nault darted up the middle and went 81 yards for the score, a shot to the gut. How would Marlow respond? Senior Trey Coffman, left side, 65 yards, touchdown.
“He is an animal,” quarterback Braeden O’Dell said. “He always gives 100 percent. No doubt.”
It was 7-7 after little more than two minutes gone. It stayed that way until 5:55 left in the second quarter. That scoreless drought was almost broken by another long run by Coffman, but a late holding penalty negated the touchdown.
With 7:50 left in the second, Marlow caught a bit of bad luck again. A big hit in the backfield jarred the ball loose, and Marlow junior defensive lineman Hector Boyd caught it in midair. He had the whole field with no one in front of him, but stumbled.
On that ensuing possession, O’Dell was hit hard and dropped the ball. Kingfisher junior defensive lineman Jace Sternberger didn’t slip, but rumbled 44 yards to solidify the 14-7 halftime score.
“It probably should have been 14-7 us at halftime and not them,” Renshaw said. “We’re just real proud of our guys, and eventually this game doesn’t mean squat as far as the playoffs. Now our guys believe they can play with anybody in the state.”
The Outlaws did have one last chance before the half to get some points. In the howling wind O’Dell dropped back and had senior receiver Kelby Richardson breaking past the safety with 1:11 left. He hurled the ball for the end zone, but in the battle of wind versus ball, the wind won. The pass blew back and was intercepted by a linebacker.
“I’m proud of (O’Dell), because there were some bad things that happened to him and he kept coming back,” Renshaw said. “That’s the sign of a champion.”
From one district champion to another, Marlow’s matchup in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs is undefeated Seminole. Last year, the Chieftains crushed Marlow 59-7 on their way to the state semifinals, where they lost to Kingfisher. Renshaw said that Friday’s game gave them the confidence to know they can play with Seminole (10-0, 6-0) this season.
His senior running back agreed.
“We can hang with about anyone if we put our minds to it,” Coffman said.